Not that I did not like Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag (2007). I just thought it lacked oomph in the right places. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal, Sushmita Sen, Nisha Kothari, Ajay Devgan, and Prashant Raj, the movie mimics the plot to what is widely regarded as one of the best and most successful movies in Bollywood history, Sholay (1975).
My assessment of Aag starts and ends with the same complaint. The film is redundant in many places, and could have used some major editing to cut down the length of the film. Add to that the metal rock feel that is the feature of every fighting sequence, and one cannot help but wish that Ram Gopal Verma had put more effort into the film.
Ajay Devgan and Prashant Raj are effective in their roles. For once, Sushmita Sen is almost overshadowed by Nisha Kothari. Amitabh Bachchan does well as Babban, although again, I feel his scenes were redundant to a point where viewers could almost predict the direction of his next footstep. Too often, he is shown as violently and mercilessly killing people. Rather disturbing from a viewer's standpoint, not because it was intended to be that way, but because it's the same sequence over and over again, only with a different victim.
The soundtrack, when treated independently, is rather good. I remember rating it as above average when I first reviewed it in August. Int he film, however, the only song that fit like hand in glove is Hai Aag Yeh. The song Mehbooba, which is there for the sake of being there, is well choreographed. Urmila Matondkar is fantastic and looks the part too as she steals the show.
In what is the saving grace of the film, the animosity between Babban Singh and the inspector and his group is well-represented. The sequence with Ajay Devgan threatening to take his own life if he is not awarded the girl is laughable and again, too long and forced. The climax, too, could have used something slightly different. Think of it this way -- you could have fast-forwarded through most of the climax and watched simply the last minute without missing much at all.
Overall, a rather disappointing remake. Even when treated independently, the film is too loud and does not, in my books at least, even qualify as a nominee for the best thriller of the year. No, this should have been a lot better given its cast.
Movie rating: ** (Average)
My classification: R (for violence, language)
Watch it if: you're hopelessly in love with the original Sholay. You will like the original a whole lot more after watching this!
Official website: http://www.rgvkiaag.com/